The Travels Of Marco Polo - Volume 2 Of 2 By Marco Polo And Rustichello Of Pisa











































 -  It was the result of one of his unlucky
embassies to claim the homage of distant states, and turned out - Page 520
The Travels Of Marco Polo - Volume 2 Of 2 By Marco Polo And Rustichello Of Pisa - Page 520 of 1350 - First - Home

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It Was The Result Of One Of His Unlucky Embassies To Claim The Homage Of Distant States, And Turned Out As Badly As The Attempts Against Champa And Japan.

His ambassador, a Chinese called Meng-K'i, was sent back with his face branded like a thief's. A great

Armament was assembled in the ports of Fo-kien to avenge this insult; it started about January, 1293, but did not effect a landing till autumn. After some temporary success the force was constrained to re-embark with a loss of 3000 men. The death of Kublai prevented any renewal of the attempt; and it is mentioned that his successor gave orders for the re-opening of the Indian trade which the Java war had interrupted. (See Gaubil, pp. 217 seqq., 224.) To this failure Odoric, who visited Java about 1323, alludes: "Now the Great Kaan of Cathay many a time engaged in war with this king; but the king always vanquished and got the better of him." Odoric speaks in high terms of the richness and population of Java, calling it "the second best of all Islands that exist," and describing a gorgeous palace in terms similar to those in which Polo speaks of the Palace of Chipangu. (Cathay, p. 87 seqq.)

[We read in the Yuen-shi (Bk. 210), translated by Mr. Groeneveldt, that "Java is situated beyond the sea and further away than Champa; when one embarks at Ts'wan-chau and goes southward, he first comes to Champa and afterwards to this country." It appears that when his envoy Meng-K'i had been branded on the face, Kublai, in 1292, appointed Shih-pi, a native of Po-yeh, district Li-chau, Pao-ting fu, Chih-li province, commander of the expedition to Java, whilst Ike-Mese, a Uighur, and Kau-Hsing, a man from Ts'ai-chau (Ho-nan), were appointed to assist him.

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